Monitoring Your Child’s Computer Usage – Are You?

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It appears to be a very simple question to reply to initially. Should you be monitoring where your son or daughter is going online, and just how many hours they spend using a computer? The knee-jerk response by many parents is always to say, “Of course!” Occasionally though, our first reaction might not be in the best interest of one’s children, though that is most certainly our intention.

The obvious benefits of monitoring the computer usage habits of your children are many. You ensure that your child does not end up on a website or in a chat room that could put him or her in danger. You can control what content your child views, you ensure there is plenty of time for healthy exercise outdoors, and your child’s ability to communicate and socialize can be boosted as well.

However, an argument can be made that the computer is the artist’s easel of the 21st century.

Just as artists and sculptors would be lost without paint and clay, many children today use the computer as the blank canvas upon which their creativity soars. Without free reign on the computer, their creativity is stymied, depression, anxiety and stress increase, and the world misses the benefit of your child’s creative activities.

Strong social relationships can be made and maintained online as well.

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram are among the most popular websites in the world. They total a combined 2 billion users, and important personal and business relationships are made on those sites every day. Though it is certainly not your intention, limiting access to these and other sites may actually harm your child’s ability to socialize in a normal and healthy manner.

Computers are here to stay. They are all around us, and your children will be much more computer-dependent in the future. By limiting access to computers you could be harming your child’s ability to land a good job, or merely function in the society of tomorrow. Accordingly, understanding whether or not to monitor and limit your child’s computer usage is a subject which requires more consideration than first glance.

Computers are not inherently good or bad. They can be used for good and bad purposes. So can most other technologies. While monitoring your child’s computer usage seems like a good idea, don’t go overboard. Whether or not you enjoy dealing with computers should not come into play when making this decision.

Computers are inevitably going to be a part of your children’s future, and probably their entire lives. Monitor and limit usage up to a point, but understand that these technological marvels can provide healthy growth and development opportunities for your children when used properly.